Archive for Saturday, October 28, 2006

Faith forum: Is it OK for Christians to celebrate Halloween?

October 28, 2006

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Do all things for glory of God

The Rev. Pieter Willems, pastor, Mustard Seed Christian Fellowship, 700 Wakarusa Drive:

For a Christian, we should live by a simple biblical principle when asked these kind of questions, which is, "Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God" (1 Corinthians, 10:31). In other words, live every aspect of your life in such a way that it will reflect positively on who God is.

Does the way in which Halloween is traditionally celebrated bring glory to God? The obvious Christian answer would be no.

However, the mistake that the Christian community often makes on issues like this is to become negative, judgmental and critical of what we don't agree with. This is often a fear motivation.

As a Christian I don't fear the world around me that is often contrary to my faith. I don't even fear the things that I perceive as evil, because as a child of God, "The evil one cannot harm me" (1 John 5:18).

Rather, I want to present a lifestyle that contrasts with the world around me in such a way that it brings glory to God.

That is why our church offers a positive, wholesome, safe and family-friendly alternative to Halloween, renamed "The Harvest Party" to emphasize that it is different from Halloween.

In this way we are trying (albeit imperfectly), in whatever we do, to, "Do it all for the glory of God."

- Send e-mail to Pieter Willems at pieterjw@sunflower.com.

No need to fear the dark

The Rev. Jonathon Jensen, rector, Trinity Episcopal Church, 1011 Vt.:

The word "Halloween" is simply a shortened version of the phrase "All Hallows Eve." The word "hallowed" means holy or sacred.

All Hallows Eve is the day before All Saints Day, which honors all faithful Christians, known and unknown, who have gone before us.

The Church placed All Saints Day on Nov. 1 to "bless" or "Christianize" a pagan holy day or holiday taking place the day before.

In one sense, Halloween has been so separated from any religious significance, anyone may enjoy the festivities. What one might celebrate on this day is not a religious observance but decorating the house, carving a pumpkin with the family and enjoying the fall season.

Plastic ghouls and paper witches are nothing to worry about. There is no need to be afraid of the dark.

For Christians or anyone else, the day of Halloween can be a time for children to parade around in a cute costume, ingest loads of candy and have fun.

Adults seem to enjoy the experience as much as the children. The lights will be on at my home that night to give out candy to any costumed child or adult who comes to the door.

- Send e-mail to Jonathon Jensen at jwj@trinitylawrence.org.

Comments

Ragingbear 8 years, 9 months ago

Halloween has roots going way back into the old world. Many cultures celebrate a "Day of the Dead" to honor all those worthy individuals, and indeed all dead that have passed before us. This is not about religion, it never really was. This is about tradition. It is a way for children to have fun, and it is a way for the family to have fun. I agree wholeheartedly with Rev. Jonathon Jensen of Trinity Episcople.

Rev. Pieter Willems, of Mustard Seed on the other hand... I can't really believe how hippocritical this guy is. First of all, he gets all preachy and goes onto tell people to act all high and mighty about how they don't celebrate Halloween. He then goes on to turn his little narrative into an advertisement for his church, inviting people to this "Harvest Festival".

What he has failed to mention is the commercial on TV they have had advertising this as a costume party. That's right, you still get to dress up. Of the activities included is a trunk-or-treat. That's right, they didn't change that from a practice many communities are doing and advertising as an alternative to going to strangers for trick-or-treating. The final kicker is that on the TV commercial it says (Family Friendly Costumes Only, No Demons, Witches, etc.). So,ya gotta keep everything... you know... holy.

You know, I am not even Christian, but I find it facinating. I respect Trinity Episcople, but I do not respect Mustard seed. They do not deserve it.

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